In their last match in St. Pete-Clearwater before returning to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia Union continued to play high-intensity preseason soccer in a 1-0 victory over Montreal Impact at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.
Quick, forward passes lead to goal
2019’s leading scorer Kacper Przybylko showed last season was no fluke by notching the game-winner in the 57th minute, his second in two games. The buildup was exactly what Sporting Director Ernst Tanner and Head Coach Jim Curtin are looking for: A quick pass from defense needed only two touches before ending up near the opponent’s goal. Captain Alejandro Bedoya collected the ball at the midfield stripe and threaded a perfect pass to speedy Sergio Santos who easily beat two Impact defenders. With the defense collapsing in, Santos found Przybylko open in the middle of the box and the forward bagged the goal.
High Press, High Reward
The 2020 version of the Union will be hungry on defense and year two under the Tanner/Curtin regime is hinting at strong progress toward an improved shape. After attacks broke down, there was little room for Montreal to break out. Przybylko, Santos, and Bedoya as well as Brenden Aaronson and Matej Oravec read plays early and slowed down any Montreal momentum in build-up play. Oravec was making his preseason debut and showed well in his first taste of MLS competition.
Youth on Display
With Kai Wagner, Andrew Wooten, Warren Creavalle and Jamiro Monteiro unavailable for the contest, the Union’s youth was once again given valuable minutes to show they deserve time when the season kicks off on February 29 at FC Dallas. Anthony Fontana and Matt Real each made their third straight start and were involved heavily in attacks. As Montreal pushed for a tying goal late, Cole Turner, Jack de Vries and Michee Ngalina where on the pitch to stifle the final push from the Canadian squad.
The squad now returns to Philly, with Oravec, El Brujo Martinez, Mark McKenzie, and Anthony Fontana slated to appear at Friday’s Kit Launch Party. RSVP now for your first chance to nab a 2020 Forever Faithful kit and meet some of the guys that will lead this year’s team into battle in the home opener on March 14th against San Jose Earthquakes.